8 Tips to Select a Supplier for  Hospitality Supplies

8 Tips to Select a Supplier for Hospitality Supplies

Posted by Judson Uhre on Mar 18th 2019

How do you Select a Supplier for Hospitality Supplies?

Selecting the correct type of supplier will depend on different factors. Historically, hoteliers viewed acquiring hotel or restaurant supplies as a support function. As a result, purchasing consisted of little more than going online, logging into your suppliers' website, and buying towels, sheets, etc. routinely. Until recently, Hotel Supplies received minimal emphasis and little recognition for their role in achieving profit objectives and cost containment goals. Some small owner-operated hotels or motels consider purchasing "just picking up the telephone and calling in an order" here; the busy manager with many responsibilities besides purchasing room supplies won't reap the value of undertaking the extensive time necessary to lower product costs with few rooms.

In larger hotels, the number of rooms and purchasing costs can get extensive. And so, a more traditional approach to controlling costs happen after supplies reach the property, not necessarily before that point. While many operators in the hospitality industry have always been concerned about quality, other aspects of purchasing, such as working with suppliers, developing creative pricing plans, and understanding its specific market, can create more value for Hoteliers.

Today, managers must recognize the need to maximize value for their lodging property and guests. Hotel Supplies should no longer be considered a simple matter of ordering needed products; the economic and operational benefits of working with your hotel supplier are too great to disregard.

Each business has different standards for picking a supplier in the hospitality industry. Here is a general guideline that will help you decide when selecting a supplier.

1. Know Your Target Market Needs

If you don't know the needs of your target market, you won't know whether a supplier offers the products that fit your guests' criteria. Therefore Hoteliers must focus on their guest's needs.
Excellent hospitality companies closely monitor the changing needs of their target markets. Winning hotel operators continually aim to meet or exceed their guest's expectations. For instance, if you buy a bedsheet, find out the minimum thread count and fabric your guest requires to enjoy a comfortable experience.
It's the hoteliers' responsibility to define their target markets and the guest's needs as accurately and precisely as possible.
In selecting a hotel supplier, management must continually answer the following questions:

  • What does my Guest value, and at what cost?
  • What is the bottom line effect of offering these products to my guests?
  • How can we maximize the value received by our hotel and the value perceived by our guests using the supplies and amenities that we offer?

After answering these questions and fully understanding the quality and cost criteria, management can develop a list of room, pool, and restaurant supplies and assess suppliers. And this will make it easy to select the best supplier for hospitality products.

2. Consistent Quality

The supplier that you select should offer consistent quality products. Consistent quality is essential, particularly in the hospitality industry.

You need to ensure that every product is without any defects—customers associate poor quality with lousy service. Even one bad customer experience can significantly affect the bottom line.

3. Define Value as an Essential Concern

Hospitality managers need to understand the direct relationship between buying hotel supplies and the value received. This value gets defined when managers attempt to quantify every component of value. In general, these components are a mixture of quantitative and qualitative properties.
Institute for Supply Management (ISM) has developed a concise definition of value. According to ISM, "value is a systematic study of the function of an item or system to identify unnecessary cost, which can be eliminated without impairing the capacity of the item or system to perform as required." ISM's definition suggests that before value can be determined, the function of an item must be systematically researched. The value of cost must be understood and classified as essential and non-essential.
Naturally, managers will eliminate the non-essential costs as they do not affect the performance of the item or system. 
Every professional hotelier will have a slightly different definition of value based on their business experiences and target markets. Thus it is the management's responsibility to determine the value of the hotel supplies they choose. 

4. Select Reputable Wholesale Suppliers

Buying unbranded products is a considerable risk. And hotels and restaurants can’t afford to risk quality to avoid customer dissatisfaction.

That’s why you need to make sure that you select suppliers that deal with reputable brands. This will ensure that you get the best products for your guests.

5. Prioritize the Needs of Guests

You should never sacrifice quality for the price. Your guests deserve the best. And if they find the best hospitality products in the guest room, they are more likely to pay a premium for the stay.

Look at the supplier through the eyes of the guests. Ask yourself if, as a hotel guest, you will like the products sold by a supplier. If the answer is no, you should look elsewhere.

6. Good Customer Feedback

Before selecting a supplier, it’s a good idea to read about customer reviews. For B2C retailers, you can read a review on Yelp, Angie’s Lists, and others. But this is not the case with B2B suppliers.

Consider asking for the names of existing clients. If the supplier can name many reputable businesses as clients, it indicates reliability. Selecting a supplier with few clients is risky since there is no guarantee that you will get quality products.

7. Local Suppliers

You should select a local supplier for hospitality products. Always prefer online suppliers who are located in your country.

Buying from an international online supplier is not without risks.

International online suppliers are not subject to local laws and regulations. You cannot claim in court in case of fraud or defective products. On the other hand, you are more likely to recover money if bought from a local online supplier.

Local suppliers also offer the best price on products. They don’t have to ship products from abroad. As a result, they will be more likely to provide you with products at a lower cost. In addition to quality products, this will make their offering more value for money.

8. Have a Framework

Make sure that you have a framework for the selection of a supplier. The supplier selection process should start with the exact products required for your restaurant or hotel business.

Next, you should set criteria for selecting suppliers, as mentioned earlier. After establishing the requirements, you should assess or pre-qualify the suppliers and choose the best supplier.

By selecting the best supplier for hotel supplies, you will be able to reduce operational costs and optimize customer satisfaction. The above tips will help you choose the best supplier for hospitality products.

Hotels for Humanity is one of the leading hotel supply companies in the US. We provide a one-window solution for hotel bedding and bathroom supplies. You can get quality hospitality supplies from top brands such as WestPoint Home & Hospitality, Ganesh Mills, 1888 Mills, Kartri, Thomaston Mills, Focus Product Group, etc. Contact us today if you want to benefit from discounted wholesale pricing on hospitality items.